Medicare is the nation’s largest health insurance program and it is administered by The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) part of the United States government. Coverage is broken down into four parts, A, B, C and D. Medicare part A provides basic hospital coverage and skilled nursing. Medicare part B provides coverage for doctors and part D is for prescription drug coverage. Part C is also referred to as Medicare Advantage plan.
You are generally eligible for Medicare coverage if you meet one of these conditions
1) Are 65 years of age or older
2) Are receiving disability benefits from the Social Security Administration for 24 months
3) Are diagnosed with End Stage Renal Failure, which is permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or transplant.
4) Are the surviving spouse or divorced spouse of someone who would qualify
5) Are the dependant parent of a fully insured deceased child
6) Are a U.S. citizen of have been a permanent resident for five years prior to applying
Medicare part A will be provided free of charge if you have contributed to Social Security for at least 10 quarters. If you have not you may still be eligible but will have to pay the monthly charge which will vary based on the number of quarters that you have paid into Social Security.
Medicare part B provides coverage for visits to doctors and has a monthly premium which is based on your income as shown on a tax return and date of enrollment. If you are newly eligible, single and your Modified Adjusted Gross Income is less than $85,000 the month premium will be $110.50.
Medicare part D provides prescription drug coverage and its premium is also based on your income and time of application.